Reality check: Arizona’s dry heat still hot

Visit with an Arizona native about the summer heat, and you’ll hear about the glories of no humidity. “Just do what needs to be done outdoors by 10 a.m., close your windows and doors and  spend the rest of the morning and early afternoon indoors. Open the windows and doors at 4 p.m., then spend the rest of the day outdoors enjoying the beautiful Arizona weather,” they say.


We were in sunny, low humidity south-west Arizona several weeks ago and at 4 p.m. the temperature was still 113 and going higher. Granted, there was no humidity — but 113 is hot no matter how dry it is and will turn your toes into hot dogs in seconds. I didn’t see any open windows or doors, just heard air conditioners going full blast.

There’s a lot to be said for humidity, mostly bad. Those with curly hair fuss about humidity turning them into Little Orphan Annie. Those with straight hair, fuss about humidity giving them that hang dog look. Humidity causes mascara to run, cheeks to shine and feet to swell.

We sweat and perspire, wear as little as possible, nearly but not quite going nude. We forget about what our mothers taught us about being out in public. Never mind cellulite on our thighs, flab on our stomachs, upper arms that flit back and forth like butterflies in flight. We wear shorts, sleeveless shirts and cover our feet with just enough material to keep our soles from touching hot surfaces.

Humidity causes grass to grow faster, bushes to be trimmed more often, weeds to thrive and mildew to flourish.

It may not be as hot in Nebraska as Arizona, but we have the humidity, and while we fuss and call attention to how humid it is, we too, thrive and flourish.

And that added moisture just might take care of the cellulite on those thighs.

Joyce Ore

Joyce Ore writes delightful stories about life with a dose of humor and sprinkle of nostalgia. Her column appears Saturday in the Tribune.

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